I just got 'home' from my dinner at Tamarind and feel inspired to write this review right away. One of the best meals on my two-week long Thai/Lao trip so far, and there have been many, many good meals. This may even rank right up there with one of the best meals of my life.
Tamarind has a simple yet elegant atmosphere, perched right across the street from the Nam Khan river. I arrived at 6 pm, didn't have a reservation which seemed to be the preferred mode of showing up here, yet I was offered an outside table with a good view of the street and the river.
I ordered simple -- just a soup (pumpkin/ginger/coconut) and steamed fish with sticky rice. But wow. Both dishes were a divine blend of flavors and perfectly executed. The soup was very thick and creamy, with the punch of ginger just right. It came with a homemade rice cracker (far better than the fabricated ones). The fish was intricately wrapped up in a banana leaf, tied together with a strand of bamboo, and dressed with all kinds of good herbs.
I started out ordering only water but then just for fun picked out the 'cocktail special,' the Mekong Sunset, which was a beautiful drink -- local rice whiskey, 'ahn sum' (an edible purple flower), lime, and honey. Wow.
The whole meal (including drink) came to just a bit over $10. That's a splurge for most parts of Asia, but this was well worth it. The waiters were also very attentive, coming by to give me instructions on how to approach each dish (crumble the rice crackers into the soup for full effect, which I did). Highly recommended.
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